The urban space switch-up: will city parking suffer?

The urban space switch-up: will city parking suffer?

Earlier this week The Times reported millions of city parking spaces could be removed and replaced with trees and cycle lanes to reduce air pollution and tackle climate change.

In a plan spearheaded by a body advising mayors of the world’s biggest cities, C40 Cities group estimates almost 135,000 parking spaces could be removed in London alone, with 10.5 million in total across 94 global cities. The group calculated an area four and a half times the size of Hyde Park was used for parking in London and much of it could be reallocated to create green spaces.

Climate change in the city


YouGov poll showed the recent Extinction Rebellion protests have sent public concern about the climate crisis to record levels. In early May the government’s advisory panel, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), recommended a “net-zero” target for greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 2050.

Until recently the UK had a decade-old target to reduce emissions by at least 80% before 2050, but the more ambitious target means UK cities and industries need to make significant changes quickly and effectively. 

With public and legislative pressures mounting, the reallocation of urban spaces proposed by the C40 Cities group could soon be a reality. While this may go some way to reducing the level of C02 emitted by motorists and improving air quality in inner-city areas, it could spell disaster for residents, visitors and regular commuters.

In advance of a significant drop in parking space, cities such as London need to consider ways to manage their services smarter and more efficiently.


A connected future


Chipside provides digital parking permits for more than two million drivers and we work with 170 UK local authorities through our MiPermit and Oppidatim platforms. With direct access to data that tells us how many vehicles are parking in particular areas, how long for and which times are busiest – we can identify the ‘dirtiest’ parking areas in need of reallocation as green areas.

Appreciating the impact this can have on driver experiences, our smart MiPermit app enables people to pre-book parking and permits to reduce the negative impact of restricted parking areas.


Chipside’s smart parking and traffic management systems already collect large amounts of live data and we want to analyse these datasets to create cleaner and healthier cities and towns. We are now working on a method of introducing dynamic pricing to nudge drivers to go to other car parks or routes where their vehicles will not tip pollution levels over safe legal limits or targets. ‘Dirty’ vehicles have the potential to push cities over pollution limits that could degrade air quality.

Communicating this information through a smart driving app - or directly through a car’s inboard computer system – will revolutionise the way cities, their visitors and residents share the responsibility to meet zero emissions targets.


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